Your Heart Place

Over the Christmas break I was in the place where I feel the most settled, the most content. The place where I feel like I breathe just a little bit deeper & smile a little bit bigger.

We still had a day or two left in the trip but I found myself starting to already think about missing that place. About missing that warm sunshine full heart feeling.

But in that moment with the salty sea breeze in my hair & the sunshine on my face, I made a decision. There is no reason I can’t get back to that place anytime I want. Sure, I won’t be able to fly to Southern California as often as I’d like (weekly – if not daily!), but I can try my best to bottle up that feeling & bring it out whenever I need it.

 

I know what the warm sunshine feels like.

I can hear the rolling & rushing of the waves onto the sand.

I can smell the slightly salty air.

I can feel the sand under my feet & in-between my toes.

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All of those things that fill my soul, I feel like I know them inside & out. So I’ve decided to just focus my mind to put myself there. When I need a break to fuel my soul, I’m going to give myself just a few minutes to mentally put myself on that pier, on that beach, on that bench overlooking the ocean.

 

What’s your heart place? That place where you can literally feel yourself relax into yourself. The place you breathe just a little bit deeper & smile just a little bit bigger.

Is it your grandmother’s house with homemade chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven? Is it right at the top of a mountain peak with a fresh path of crisp white snow leading you down? Is it curled up in a bed made with just-washed sheets and a paperback novel in your hand? Is it your kitchen filled with streaming morning light & the sound of little feet pounding down the worn wooden-floored hallway?

 

Where ever it is, friend, practice bringing all those details to life in your mind. Then go there as often as you’d like. And if your heart place happens to be the beaches of Southern California, I’ll see you there! I’d love to hear your favorite thing about your heart place in the comments below!

When It’s Over

A few of our most recent threenager melt-downs have been because something fun is ending – Halloween trick-or-treating/handing out candy, & then not getting to finish an episode on TV before heading to school.

In the midst of the meltdowns, and especially once she’s calmed down again, I’m trying my best to teach her that when we’re sad about something good ending, it’s best to just focus on the fun & stay happy. That when we get sad about the end, it adds in more negative feelings rather than just holding onto the positive ones.

I am completely aware that this lesson/reasoning is more advanced than a three-year-old can really appreciate. But I’m starting now in the hopes that as she gets older, this may be one of the lessons that really sticks & helps form who she is as a person. And let’s be real honest here, it’s a lesson I am still trying to teach myself.

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Just in the past week, as I left California & all of my family, and again when I left Austin & two of my best friends, it was really hard to fight off the tears & the sadness at the leaving. But I really did try to keep my heart in the happiness that the trips brought long after leaving. And you know what? It helped.

So if you’re in the midst of an ending, leaving a place or a time or a season that you’ve loved & enjoyed, try to keep your heart in that place of gratitude & enjoyment rather than entering that place of sadness & mourning that comes so naturally to most of us. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll be able to extend that joyful season just a little bit longer.

 

Appreciating Home

I’ve already kicked off what is going to be a whirlwind 9 weeks. LOTS of travel – some short trips, some long trips. Multiple photoshoots mixed in there on top of regular work hours. Obviously, with this being posted at 8pm rather than 8am, my schedule it just a bit thrown off at this point.

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With all of the travel, which is fun, it really makes me appreciate home. Especially when I am traveling without Max and Peanut. As much as a messy house strewn with baby toys, laundry and dirty dishes stresses me out, there’ s nothing like making it home to that familiar chaos. At the end of a long travel day, those tea cups, books, puzzle pieces, stuffed animals, and hundreds of blocks on the floor all seem to be little “Welcome Home” signs as I finally come through the door.

 

Thankful for safe travels, beautiful views and a well-lived in home to return to… and most importantly, the people who make that house a home.